Caught in the safety net: the costs of Centrelink debt recovery and prosecution

Debt Australia

This report looks at the experiences of Tasmanian Centrelink customers who are in debt to Centrelink. It provides an overview of one state’s experience of a decade of changes in social security law, declining legal aid funding and mounting social and economic pressures – such as the ‘churning’ of the low wage and casual labour market and the growing affordable housing crisis. The research captures a particular moment in Australian history, when the social security system, dramatically reshaped and no longer rooted in concepts of entitlement to support, has ceased to be the ‘safety net’ of marginalised or impoverished citizens.

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